By: David J. Elkanich and Amber Bevacqua-Lynott
There is no question that the practice of law has evolved over the past decade. At one time, lawyers would meet mostly with clients in person in their “brick and mortar” offices, and would principally represent clients in their home jurisdiction (where the client was physically located and where the lawyer is licensed). But times have changed. Whether due to the increase in technology, adoption during COVID-19, or other factors, it is easier today for lawyers to practice law remotely from anywhere in the country, while representing distant clients. Two questions, therefore, arise:
• May lawyers practice law in their home jurisdiction remotely, while physically located in a different jurisdiction?
• May lawyers practice law in their home jurisdiction while representing clients physically located in a different jurisdiction?
Practicing law remotely
Consider a scenario in which a lawyer licensed only in Oregon moves to California for six months out of the year. In California, the Oregon lawyer will exclusively practice law in Oregon through technology such as email, mobile telephone, and video conferencing. The Oregon lawyer will not do work for California clients, will not solicit California clients, and will not otherwise hold herself out to the public as admitted and available to practice law in California.1
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